When Todd Billingsley learned Red’s Pizzeria in Broken Arrow was for sale, he consulted with 5-year-old daughter, Zoie.
“I asked her if she wanted a pizza place,” Billingsley said. “I asked her what we should call it, and she said, ‘Zoie’s.’ When I asked her what she wanted in a pizza place she said we needed a gumball machine, a claw machine and cheese pizza.
“We have the gumball machine and the cheese pizza, and we will have the claw machine coming soon.”
Billingsley said Zoie also is a fan of superheroes, so many of the pizzas have names such as Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Aquaman, Thor, etc. In addition to a paper menu, a wall menu with colorful drawings also lists some of the popular selections.
In addition to pizzas, Zoie’s also offers appetizers, sandwiches, salads, wings and pasta dishes.
We went by for dinner recently and ordered a 12-inch build-your-own pizza with Canadian bacon and mushrooms, baked ziti ($7.99) and fried raviolis ($3.99).
The raviolis no doubt came out of a bag, but they were tasty little munchers and a good bargain. We received nine raviolis filled with cheese, coated with seasoned bread crumbs and fried to a golden brown.
The pizza had a thin crust and each piece could have been folded over and eaten out of hand, much like a New York-style pizza. The mushrooms, I think, were canned, but the overall flavor was pleasing. Once the ziti arrived, we decided to take home half of the pizza.
The ziti featured penne noodles with a mild red sauce and a mix of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. It came in a tin tray ready for takeout, so we took a bit of it home, too. The ziti and other pasta dishes — spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo, lasagna — come with a side salad and garlic bread. The salad was fresh and included lettuce, tomato and mozzarella with a good ranch dressing.
If a salad had not come with the ziti, we likely would have ordered the self-serve salad bar that featured four greens, 13 toppings and three dressings.
In addition to soft drinks and teas, Zoie’s has a limited selection of beers, mostly domestic.
Though customers place their orders at the counter, Kayla was friendly and helpful in providing information and making choices.
Billingsley said he refurbished the dining room, a bright area with plenty of sunshine coming through front windows. Partial wood walls and live plants warm the room. Five televisions were turned to different channels and types of shows.
Billingsley said he also owns or has an interest in Whiskey Dog Bar & Grill (located just around the corner from Zoie’s), Stumbling Monkey Bar & Grill, PJ’s Pub & Grill, In the Raw South and other businesses not related to food or drink.
“Red used to provide food for Whiskey Dog, and he approached me one day about buying his pizza place,” Billingsly said. “I really wasn’t thinking about having a pizza place at the time, but I decided to go for it.”
Billingsley has hired Robyn Jones, a former neighbor, to manage the food operations at Whiskey Dog, PJ’s, Stumbling Monkey and Zoie’s. Jones was a co-founder of CherryBerry Frozen Yogurt.
“Since we sold CherryBerry, I have been kind of looking for something to do,” she said. “This was a good fit.”
Zoie’s is located on West New Orleans Street (101st Street) just west of Aspen Avenue (145th East Avenue).